It should come to no surprise that teenage drivers drive better when their parents are in the car.
The National Institutes of Health and the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute used cameras and sensor to observe teenage drivers while driving alone, with friends and with their parents. They tracked accidents and near accidents and also measured risky driving procedures including:
- Accelerating rapidly
- Breaking hard
- Making hard turns
What they found was that teenager drivers had 75% fewer near crashes and their risky driving behaviors fell 67% when their parents were in the car.
When teenagers drove with other teenagers in the vehicle, they had as many near crashes as when they were driving alone. However, their risky driving behaviors were 18% less frequent than when the teenager drove alone.
Driving Behaviors Over Time
The study found that teenager drivers continued risky driving behavior even as they gained experience behind the wheel. The study found calculated the crashes and near crashes per kilometer driven and found that teens averaged 10 per 16,000 kilometers during the 18 months of the study while the parents averaged 2.
Graduated Licensing in Washington State
Washington state, like many states, has a graduated driver’s license for teenage drivers. For the first 6 months after a teen obtains their driver’s license, they cannot drive with passengers under the age of 20 unless the passenger is a family member. For the next six months, they are not allowed to carry more than 3 passengers who are under the age of 20 that are not family members.
The graduated driver license also prohibits driving between 1am and 5am unless with a driver age 25 or older. Teens are also prohibited from using a wireless device including hands-free cell phones.
This information is provided by Seattle Car Accident Lawyer blog, a service of The Farber Law Group. We represent people who have been seriously injured in motor vehicle accidents and the family of those killed. With our help, you may recover compensation for your damages.